Church and State: June 2004 Archives

June 28, 2004

Familiar claims

Cyprus: Richard Bartholemew has compiled a useful article on the Satanic panic the Orthodox church is trying to whip up in Cyprus. In it, he looks at the background to some of the characters involved, and the rather loose definition of Satanism used - it seems if a teenager experiences pleasure, or any other emotion, while listening to rock music, then that counts as experience of Satanism and Occultism.

June 27, 2004

And they wonder why people are leaving.

Scotland: The high heedyins on the Isle of Lewis have decided that if their imaginary friend won't let them swim on Sundays, then no-one else can either.

We opposed it mainly because of Biblical reasons. We believe we are still governed by God's law and regard Sunday opening as a breach of the Fourth Commandment. But we also were concerned that, if we were to open the sports centre, the floodgates would open for other sporting activities - such as bowling, golf, five-aside football - on a Sunday.

Health campaigners pointed out that it was ridiculous that you could get drunk on Sunday, but not go for a swim. Even more ironically, the centre was funded through gambling - something the Wee Frees do not approve of. Perhaps the council should give back the cash they got from the National Lottery.

God-fearing Lewis bans Sunday swims - The Observer, 27th June 2004.

June 24, 2004

What I did on my holidays

Partei Bibeltreur Christen poster - Europe für Jesus - spotted in central BerlinGermany: It seems the United Kingdom was not alone in having a barking mad loony fundie party contest the European Elections (see Fetch the swingometer, Pagan Prattle 28th May 2004) - Germany has the Partei Bibeltreuer Christen (Bible-believing Christian Party, or something like that). As this poster, photographed in the centre of Berlin shows, they do not believe in the separation of church and state. Their platform also included the traditional (and nowhere in the Bible) ban on abortion, and the promotion of a non-existent, idealised family. They are currently celebrating scoring a massive 0.38% of the vote in the election - they needed just over 13 times that to get a seat. In Berlin itself, they scooped a whopping 0.24% of the vote. Depressingly, 30,000 more people voted for them this time than last.

June 21, 2004

Catholic Church Pimping For Bush

United States: With the boys in frocks taking a public political stance, it looks like it's time to strip the Catholic church of its tax exempt status. Funny how this came about a week after King George II pimped his loony fundie stance to the Pope and requested the doddering old pontiff run interference with his opposite number.

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops approved a statement on Friday on Catholics in Political Life that brands politicians who support abortion rights as cooperating in evil and leaves the door open for bishops to deny communion to such lawmakers.
The bishops, meeting outside Denver, stopped short of saying that those lawmakers should be forbidden to take communion. But they reminded all Catholics that they were not worthy to receive communion until they had examined their consciences, including their fidelity to the moral teaching of the church in personal and public life.
The bishops also asserted unequivocally that the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not give awards, honors or platforms to Catholics who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.

June 17, 2004

President Bush's Links To Wacky Cults

United States: Fun Neal Pollack article in The Stranger about President Bush's kooky religious beliefs.

This is also the kind of country where the president meets with the members of a radical, far-right millennialist Christian sect three weeks before he counteracts all known international law and opinion regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation. That sect, known as the Apostolic Congress, opposes any deal with the Palestinians because it believes that Christ won't return to Earth until all of Israel belongs to the Jews and Solomon's temple is rebuilt.

Church & State - The Stranger, 10th June 2004 (via BoingBoing).

June 15, 2004

Churches as Paid Mouthpieces for BushCo

United States: King George II has been recruiting churches to spread the Bush lies, a blatant breach of law and a damn fine reason to strip any church involved of their tax-exempt status.

The byplay was as inevitable as chickens being provided to the barrios of Mexico just before the eleccion. President Bush first opens the spigot of public money to churches and other faith-based groups to the tune of over a billion dollars last year, then he knocks on the faith community's door for a political favor, por favor.

The Bush-Cheney re-election campaign is not a bit embarrassed at being caught trying to organize a brigade of (mostly) Christian soldiers in houses of worship throughout Pennsylvania who would act as point people for the campaign. After reports emerged that the Bush campaign's national headquarters asked the Pennsylvania contingent to identify 1,600 'Friendly Congregations' in Pennsylvania where voters friendly to President Bush might gather on a regular basis, Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush administration, told the New York Times: People of faith have as much right to participate in the political process as any other community.

June 13, 2004

Loony Fundie Plays Politics With Teenagers Lives

Australia: What sort of moron puts a loony fundie in charge of health decisions? Little Johnny Coward, of course. The repressed and moronic Tony Abbott, a staunch Catholic and firm believer in keeping women of all ages barefoot and pregnant, has stuck his fool neck out and demanded that the morning after pill be yanked from pharmacies and that teenagers health records no longer be subject to doctor-patient confidentiality.

Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott wants to make the controversial morning-after pill a prescription-only drug, only six months after it was made available over the pharmacy counter.
Citing concern about media reports of 13-year-old girls requesting the emergency contraception, Mr Abbott said the obvious thing is simply to restore the situation that existed before the de-scheduling by the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee.

Apparently Mr Abbott is quite happy for 13-year-old girls to be having babies. The bloody law was changed so kids like this could gain access to a drug that could help them instead of forcing them to hide a pregnancy then smother the baby behind the bike sheds. Gee, which is the preferable option.

June 4, 2004

Fascists call opponent fascist

United Kingdom: The Bishop of Manchester has expressed his opinion that the racist British National Party is incompatible with Christianity.

In a statement, he said Christians should not vote for those who would deny the... equal rights of others...
Rt Revd McCulloch said: Needless to say, we further urge all followers of Christ to use their vote wisely, and not to vote for any political party or candidate promoting division, exclusion and blame, or in any other way seeking to stir up racial and ethnic hatred...
We do not presume to advise which party or parties Christians should vote for.
However, we do affirm our conviction that genuine Christian discipleship is incompatible with actual support for racist and fascist parties, such as the BNP or the National Front.

In response, and apparently without irony, a BNP representative called the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch fascistic. Christians urged not to vote BNP - BBC News, 3rd June 2004.

June 3, 2004

Bush seeks loss of tax breaks for churches

United States: George W. Bush's election campaign might lead to some churches losing their tax exempt status because of the way it is trying to recruit support among churchgoers. E-mail sent by the campaign invites members of congregations to to serve as a coordinator in your place of worship, a task which involves distributing general information/updates or voter registration materials in a place accessible to the congregation.

The Internal Revenue Service prohibits political campaign activity, for or against any candidate, from taking place at all organizations that receive tax exempt status under a section of the federal tax code -- including most churches and religious groups. Violators could lose their tax breaks and face excise taxes.

Those who keep an eye on church/state issues are not impressed.

The director of a nonpartisan watchdog group called the campaign's church appeal a breathtakingly sad example of mixing religion and politics.
I have never in my life seen such a direct campaign to politicize American churches -- from any political party or from any candidate for public office, said Rev. Barry W. Lynn of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State. By enrolling churches in an election scheme like this, I think the Bush-Cheney campaign is actually endangering those churches' tax exemptions without even the courtesy of telling them that they run a risk.

Bush Push May Cost Churches Tax Breaks - AP (via Yahoo! News), 2nd June 2004.

Marriage—so good we're not letting you have it

United States: Fundie group the Focus on the Family want to hear your views on how wonderful marriage is, so they can publish a book calling for it to be denied to pooves.

E-mail us your anecdotes, stories and observations about the value of marriage to you -- and to society. How has being married made you a better man or woman? How has seeing the marriage of a friend or relative helped teach you valuable lessons about life? How did the unique contributions of each of your parents shape who you are today?

Those are the kinds of thoughts we'd like you to share in a message of no more than 400 words. Send it to with the subject line Why Marriage Matters -- and be sure to include your name, address and phone number, in case we need to contact you.


I have only been married for eleven months, and we only bothered because of the legal and tax benefits. I admit I'm surprised how good it's been—our relationship is exactly the same as it was beforehand and we didn't start arguing like my married parents did throughout my childhood. So wonderful is it, that I would be more than happy to let my friends who happen to have same-sex partners share the joy (and especially the tax breaks).

I don't think that what they want, somehow (via Ex-Gay Watch).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Church and State category from June 2004.

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